Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna) and sister carrier Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) will merge on April 1, 2015, pending government approval. Austrian transferred all flight operations to Tyrolean in April 2012 after staff rejected the terms of a planned cost-cutting drive. The move resulted in a series of court battles in which affected employees questioned Austrian's authority to unilaterally cancel a previous Collective Wage Agreement (CWA).

However, following extensive talks, management and Tyrolean's flight and cabin crew Works Council (Betriebsrat Bord der Tyrolean Airways) reached a consensus on a new Group CWA in October this year paving the way for reintegration.

In a statement issued late last week, Austrian said effective April, some 3,200 employees (approximately 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants) will transfer from Tyrolean to Austrian Airlines with special severance payments to be made to staff affected by the transition. About 150 station employees and 30 flight operations administrators will also switch.

Additionally, as all flight operations will be integrated into Austrian Airlines effective April 1, 2015, the add-on “operated by Tyrolean” will no longer be used.

However, Tyrolean's Innsbruck-based MRO division, Tyrolean Technik, will remain an independent company and is to be rebranded as Tyrolean Airways Luftfahrzeuge Technik GmbH from March there on. The facility specializes in Dash 8-400 maintenance among others.

“We consider this merger as a sign of conciliation and as a starting point for a new Austrian Airlines as well. The new Austrian unites the company under a common roof housing a regional and intercontinental airline. And it is going to fly higher and farther," Austrian CEO Jaan Albrecht said.